29 July 2016 Recent achievements on ASPIICS, an externally occulted coronagraph for PROBA-3
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Abstract
This paper presents the current status of ASPIICS, a solar coronagraph that is the primary payload of ESA’s formation flying in-orbit demonstration mission PROBA-3. The “sonic region” of the Sun corona remains extremely difficult to observe with spatial resolution and sensitivity sufficient to understand the fine scale phenomena that govern the quiescent solar corona, as well as phenomena that lead to coronal mass ejections (CMEs), which influence space weather. Improvement on this front requires eclipse-like conditions over long observation times. The space-borne coronagraphs flown so far provided a continuous coverage of the external parts of the corona but their over-occulting system did not permit to analyse the part of the white-light corona where the main coronal mass is concentrated. The PROBA-3 Coronagraph System, also known as ASPIICS (Association of Spacecraft for Polarimetric and Imaging Investigation of the Corona of the Sun) is designed as a classical externally occulted Lyot coronagraph but it takes advantage of the opportunity to place the external occulter on a companion spacecraft, about 150m apart, to perform high resolution imaging of the inner corona of the Sun as close as ~1.1 solar radii. The images will be tiled and compressed on board in an FPGA before being down-linked to ground for scientific analyses. ASPIICS is built by a large European consortium including about 20 partners from 7 countries under the auspices of the European Space Agency. This paper is reviewing the recent development status of the ASPIICS instrument as it is approaching CDR.
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Etienne Renotte, Steve Buckley, Ileana Cernica, François Denis, Richard Desselle, Lieve De Vos, Silvano Fineschi, Karl Fleury-Frenette, Damien Galano, Camille Galy, Jean-Marie Gillis, Estelle Graas, Rafal Graczyk, Petra Horodyska, Nektarios Kranitis, Michal Kurowski, Michal Ladno, Sylvie Liebecq, Davide Loreggia, Idriss Mechmech, Radek Melich, Dominique Mollet, Michał Mosdorf, Mateusz Mroczkowski, Kevin O’Neill, Karel Patočka, Antonis Paschalis, Radek Peresty, Bartlomiej Radzik, Miroslaw Rataj, Lucas Salvador, Jean-Sébastien Servaye, Yvan Stockman, Cédric Thizy, Tomasz Walczak, Alicja Zarzycka, Andrei Zhukov, "Recent achievements on ASPIICS, an externally occulted coronagraph for PROBA-3", Proc. SPIE 9904, Space Telescopes and Instrumentation 2016: Optical, Infrared, and Millimeter Wave, 99043D (29 July 2016); doi: 10.1117/12.2232695; https://doi.org/10.1117/12.2232695
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